KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Supporters of former Prime Minister and Umno president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will very likely be dropped from the party's supreme council in a reshuffle to be announced tomorrow.
It is believed that the reshuffle is intended to replace those holding state liaison chief posts with supporters of Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin refused to elaborate at a press conference today but confirmed that changes will take place tomorrow.
“Just wait and see. There will definitely be changes,” he said, adding that whatever changes the party leadership makes, they were done for and in the interest of strengthening the party.
Sources close to the party have already named Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, who is the Selangor Umno state liaison chief, as one of those confirmed to be replaced.
Muhammad is known to be a staunch Abdullah supporter. He lost to Muhyiddin in the battle for the party’s deputy presidency at Umno’s recent annual general assembly.
Muhyiddin, who was also quizzed by reporters on the Penanti by-election, kept silent about the party’s decision.
“We will talk to other BN leaders and get their point of view first before we decide on the matter. Wait for tomorrow,” he said.
Najib recently mooted the idea of not contesting the Penanti state seat after it was vacated by former Penang PKR Deputy Chief Minister I Mohd Fairus Khairuddin.
Fairus has been plagued by allegations of inefficiency and corruption, allegations he claims to be the work of his own party members.
Muhyiddin also refused to confirm if Umno was facing a power tussle in BN-led Terengganu, saying that it was important that Umno and BN leaders there focus on working for the people of the state.
Many had speculated that the oil-rich state was on the brink of another power crisis last week after several BN state representatives refused to attend the state assembly sitting allegedly in protest against Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.
Najib, however, denies that the ruling coalition was facing a power tussle crisis there.